About the Artist
Tiare Kahana is committed to developing children’s programs that provide fun, interactive, kinesthetic, and sensory learning experiences through dance, movement, music, sing-along, and storytelling. Her programs emphasize Hawaiian morals imbedded in the true meaning of Aloha; which is love, kindness, compassion, caring and respect. She teaches the Hawaiian tradition of treating everybody as family, including those of different races. The state of Hawai’i has the highest racial minority population in the country. Diversity is the way of life in Hawai’i.
As part of her Hawaiian heritage, Tiare learned the ancient and sacred art of hula in early childhood. She continues to study hula under Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Kawika Alfiche of Halau ‘O Keiki’ali’I of San Francisco and was honored as a guest dancer in his New York Times critically acclaimed production of “The Sacred Hula: Ka Wa Hula – Hula Through Time” at Symphony Space. She is the founder of Kahana Hula, a Polynesian Dance Company, presenting Hawaiian culture and dance performances throughout the Northeast, in schools and universities, community, private and corporate events. Kahana Hula has made appearances on local and national television.
Students are drawn by Tiare’s gentle and energetic teaching style, inspired by her genuine passion and commitment to develop creative ways to make learning fun. As a professionally certified fitness instructor and yoga practitioner for over thirty years, Tiare is a Yoga Allliance certified yoga teacher. She is inspired to teach young students the many benefits of dance, meditation, and yoga, as these practices have helped her to recover from, and manage symptoms fibromyalgia, such as pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. This personal experience has connected her with understanding the challenges and struggles children may deal with in the classroom.
Kawika Santiago was trained in classic drumming since the age of 10. In addition, he is a recording artist, singer, composer and skilled in playing the guitar and ukulele. He has been with Kahana Hula since 2009, performing with Tiare, accompanying her by playing the Hawaiian ipu (gourd drum), pahu (Polynesian bass drum) and toere (Tahitian log drum). Kawika also sings and dances as “Maui’s cousin” (“Maui” the fictitious demi-god in the Disney movie, “Moana), performs the Haka (Maori warrior chant), hula and Tahitian dance. Kawika and Tiare provide a fun, unique and energetic show, performing as a duo.
The Language of Hula
Students learn that hula is an ancient Hawaiian oral tradition of storytelling. They also learn about the culture, history, language and people of Hawai’i. Tiare demonstrates the different styles of hula, from ancient, to modern-traditional, to entertainment hula. Students participate with percussive implements, sing along, and dancing.
Live in Harmony – Live Aloha
This program fosters cultural diversity and anti-bullying behavior. Hawai’i has the highest racial minority populations in the U.S.- and they all get along because of the Aloha Spirit. Students learn that the true meaning of Aloha is love, kindness, compassion, caring and respect. The Spirit of Aloha is a statute written into Hawaiian law, as the islans’s moral code of conduct. “Aloha is Law!” For younger students, Tiare uses the storyline from the Disney film, “Moana”, to teach the lessons that Maui the Demi-God learned, as consequences of his behavior, both good and bad.
Body, Mind, and Spirit of Aloha
Mindful hula movements and basic yoga postures teach students basic principles of gravity and motion. They also learn, “Where the breath goes, the mind follows, and where the mind goes, the body follows”. The dance and movement sequences teach students that humans, plants and animals rely on the same elements of nature to grow and survive. Students learn the benefits and power of mindful thinking and mindful actions.
Legends of Maui the Demi-God
The character of Maui, portrayed in the popular Disney film, “Moana”, is an actual legendary demi-god of the Pacific Islands. Students learn more about the origins of the legend of Maui and Polynesian culture. Tiare will teach a dance to one of the songs from “Moana”, in addition to dances from New Zealand and Tahiti, based on stories of wayfaring.
Counting Seashells by the Seashore
“Pearly Shells” is a popular song that was made popular by Don Ho. Students are taught rhythmic counting and spatial positioning using tiger cowrie shells as percussive idance implements. Younger students learn the dance while seated on the floor. Older students learn to add combinations and patterns of footwork while dancing with the seashells.
PROGRAMS PRE-K – GRADE 12
- In-class workshops
- Assembly Shows
- Dance/ Physical Education
Kahana Hula (Grades K-8)
Interactive program of chanting, music, storytelling, sing along and dancing that teaches the history, language and culture of Polynesia during an exciting, virtual journey through the islands of Hawai’i, Tahiti, New Zealand and Samoa. Programs available to suit most budgets and audiences ranging from small classroom settings to assemblies or campus-wide performances. Bring Hula – “the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people” – to your school and share the Aloha Spirit with your students. Lively, engaging, interactive – this program is enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Students learn Hawaiian history, legends, culture and language while practicing listening and rhythmic skills and exploring cultural diversity.
Luau Show Production with additional male & female Polynesian dancers, live drummers & musicians also available.
1 Solo Performance $535
Solo Back to Back Performances $930
Duo Performance: $1000
Duo Back to Back Performance $1535
Program Guide: Kahana Hula